Never Begin With A Dark and Stormy Night

The stone wall prevented the branch from falling to the ground, avoiding more damage.
Even if it is …

Every writer with any experience knows *Snoopy’s classic introduction to his doomed novel should be avoided. Yet this past week no beginning could have been more fitting when Oregon preserved its reputation as a wet state and cloudy skies dumped record levels of rainfall over the Willamette Valley. Even diehard fans of the University of Oregon Ducks left the home game early, seeking shelter from what some described as a monsoon, their pockets and shoes full of water.

The inciting incident followed Sunday night—a  loud crash in my kitchen, as though the ice maker had deposited an entire container of ice instead of the usual cluster of four. My daughter emerged from the computer room to report the internet had quit. Further inspection revealed the modem connection missing its third light and a dead telephone landline. A check of the cables found everything as it should be, but when I returned to the kitchen and gazed out my window at the night sky, I stopped. Instead of seeing the shadows of tree limbs and fluttering leaves in the darkness, all I saw was the haze of a full moon filtering through the downpour.

Something was definitely wrong.

Begin Act II

Morning proved the disaster was everything we feared. A huge limb, about twenty inches in circumference and probably twenty feet long, had sheered off the trunk ten feet above the ground. In its path lay all the utility lines—power and phone alike. Those missing leaves from the night before were laying on the neighbor’s roof, poking three holes in his new shingles and causing leaks. And every tree service in the area jumped into emergency mode.

Armed with a chain saw, a pole pruner, and a ladder, my husband climbed on the neighbor’s roof and removed the branches. A call to the roofer followed as well as to the utility company. By late Monday my neighbor’s house was well on its way to recovery.

But we remained in anxious mode. The phone company wouldn’t touch the cable because it lay under the tree branch. The utility company unhooked us and reattached the line above the mess.

Climax and denouement

Finally, on Friday, the tree service arrived and removed the offending branch, the phone service returned and the internet restored. I won’t tell you how many e-mails were waiting for me after five days, nor will I tell you how many cupboards I washed filling Facebook time. All my husband’s work buddies are waiting to remove the stack of firewood created.

 The happy ending is no one was injured, life is good, and God is great.  Talk to you next week. I hope.

  • Snoopy is the wordless dog created by Charles Schultz who is always writing a book that begins, “It was a dark and stormy night…

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